A strong tornado started forming in Nebraska around 2:41 MDT, while a snow blizzard raged to the southwest, only one State away in the front range of Colorado.
The powerful tornadic storm started forming over Blue Hill, Nebraska, just north of a vapor streak that set up near Red Cloud, Nebraska, according to Paul Robins, CSWR. The tornadic storm migrated northeastward at around 30 mph toward the town of Clay Center.
By the time this storm was over Clay Center it was fully tornadic, as numerous chasers reported, and also documented at close range by video from Niccolo Stormchaser Ubalducci (See slideshow) and by Scott Peak, Basehunter's Chasing.
Niccolo indicated that he saw and filmed numerous tornadoes within the Clay Center tornado cyclone, as Niccolo was within the bwer cage and had a close up view of the tornado genesis (See slideshow).
Multi vortex tornadoes formed quickly over Clay Center, and then the strengthening couplet migrated northeastward and hit the town of Sutton, Nebraska. By the time the tornado hit Sutton, Nebraska, it was a full wedge tornado, as documented by John Hallen, Severe Warning Systems.
John Hallen said, "the mesocyclone was enormous with a very low base, and the wedge tornado was very big, possibly exceeding a mile. I heard much of Sutton sustained damage, and am not surprised, there were multi vortex tornadoes throughout the wedge tornado vortex."
The tornado kept cycling, while one tornado was dissipating, a new stronger tornado would form northeastward. At one point, the powerful tornadic circulation passed right over I80 with cars in its path. The tornado caused considerable damage not only to towns, but to power infrastructure and blocked roadways, as well.
The tornado continued up northeastward and passed north of Lincoln, Nebraska, heading straight for the suburb of Cresco.
While this tornado headed northeastward into the evening, multiple tornadoes developed south in Kansas near Pratt and Great Bend. The Great Bend tornado gained strength as it moved eastward toward McPherson. "The McPherson tornado was amazing, as a large night tornado it was illuminated by constant strobes of lightning that gave it a particularly eerie threatening view." Some damage was reported by McPherson; however, luckily, most of this tornadoes strength occurred over range lands.